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An open-plan office environment encourages communication, a free flow of ideas and importantly, builds business through an enhanced workplace experience

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The world of the office environment is in constant flux. How best to establish and maintain brand awareness? How best to turn the workplace into a productive environment? Finding answers to such questions is critical to success.

The featured project is the third new workplace which completes BNZ's strategic vision of a ‘virtual campus' model. BNZ partnered with Jasmax, and Beca worked closely with Brookfield Multiplex, to influence the architecture and green initiatives of the building to ensure BNZ's aspiration, business effectiveness and brand alignment were encapsulated in the development, says BNZ head of properties, Garry Pellett.

"As well as space utilisation assessment, a series of workshops and focus sessions was conducted to identify necessary information such as staff numbers, required amenities, workplace culture, brand values and environmental policy and then translate those requirements into architectural and spatial solutions."

BNZ occupies 8 floors within the Deloitte Centre, with a total floor plate in excess of 11,000m². The challenge was to create a cohesive environment that also referenced the high-profile site, says Jasmax associate design director, Shirley Chin.

"The process of space planning within the interior environment was informed by cues within the building site, which is rich in culture and social significance, both colonial and Maori.

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"The interior reads as a series of urban operations that bring structure, coherence, character, flexibility, identity and intensity to the environment, encouraging connectedness and dynamism."

"The use of the interconnecting stair has given a visual vertical connectivity, while a line-of-sight pathway contributes horizontal connectivity," says Chin.

Walls between business units have been removed and the open office allows integration across all floors. Green space in the form of team areas and breakout destinations has been provided to further foster the feeling of community. This concept was enhanced through the use of colour and clearly expressed way-finding signage, which act as site markers between the floors. The variety of colours, forms, materials and spaces responds to the site and the rich heritage of BNZ.

The incorporation of sustainable design solutions was another key factor in the interior design, in keeping with BNZ corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy, says Pellett.

"BNZ is committed to being carbon neutral by September 2010 and designing better offices is integral to that. Through the work of Jasmax and the BNZ team, these offices have been submitted for a 5-Star Green Star fit-out assessment for sustainable design from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

"The strategies implemented in the design of these offices have not only contributed to carbon neutrality commitments but have provided an equal benefit to employees and the company," says Pellett.

"BNZ offices are more than just a space – they are a community, a cohabitation of integrated environments that respond to culture, history and social aspects on an urban scale," says Chin.

"The site has a unique history as a mooring point for waka – the Horotiu River once flowed down lower Queen Street before joining the sea – then as the first post office, and was later renamed the Jean Batten building, which, rescaled and repositioned within the boundaries of the site, creates a three-dimensional map that references the fourth dimension of time."

First published date: 17 March 2010

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Credit List

Location BNZ offices, Deloitte Centre, Auckland
Developer Brookfield Multiplex Developments
Designers Jasmax
Main contractor Brookfield Multiplex Construction
Services engineer Beca
Project manager RCP NZ
Quantity surveyor Davis Langdon
Acoustic wall panelling Asona
Appliances Fisher & Paykel; Wildfire
Aluminium doors and partitioning Forman Building Systems
Automatic door units Doorman Besam
Audiovisual equipment Resolution AV
Backpainted glass DecoGlaze
Bamboo flooring Bamboo Flooring NZ
Bathroom hardware Hale Manufacturing
Blinds New Zealand Window Shades
Carpentry Creative Partitioning
Carpet and rubber flooring Lovich Floors
Clothesline supplier Auckland Clotheslines
Commercial cleaning Euroshine
Concrete cutting Concore Drillers
Data IndeServe
Door hardware Hardware Direct
Electrical and lighting Allendale Electrical Fire
Protection Entire Fire
Fire-rated glass Adams Steelguard
Glazing Glass Projects
Insulation Potter Interior Systems
Joinery Bar Design; Sharp & Page; First Edition Cabinetmakers
Kitchen fit-out Wildfire Commercial Kitchens & Bars
Mechanical Hastie New Zealand
Operable walls Dorma Horizon
Painting and decorating Mathews Painting; NZ Commercial
Pinboards Boyd Visuals
Plastering Ambitec
Plumbing and drainage Chenery Contracting
Precast concrete panelling PatinaForm
Raised access flooring Cemac Commercial Interiors
Scaffolding Instant Access
Screens and workstations Formway Furniture
Security Direct Control
Shelving Lundia Systems
Steelwork and metalwork Design Production
Stonework Italian Stone
Stopping PBF
Suspended ceilings Syme Commercial; Alpha Interiors
Tiling Tile Systems
Timber doors Pacific Door Systems; NZ Fire Doors; Seaboard Joinery
Timber handrails Continental Stairs
Waterproofing Sansom